Meet Josh Block: Lobbyist For Foreign Human Rights Abuser

A Politico article yesterday on CAP’s Middle East posture cited Josh Block, who described CAP’s bloggers as writing “borderline anti-Semitic stuff.” In a leaked email to a right-wing listserv, Block, now senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, disclosed he had compiled thousands of words of opposition research on CAP and Media Matters bloggers, while urging neoconservative journalists to “amplify” the Politico article.

Block’s message as reported by Politico was made even more strongly in his email sent out to the right-wing journalist listserv. He wrote, “These are the words of anti-Semites, not Democratic political players,” adding, “This kind of anti-Israel sentiment is so fringe it’s support by CAP is outrageous.” Ironically, Block’s own personal business and political interests find him frequently on the fringes of the Democratic party and mainstream political dialogue in Washington.

Last year, upon his departure from AIPAC as a spokesperson for the organization, Block told Ben Smith: “There is an important debate taking place inside the Democratic Party and the progressive movement, and I’m relishing my return to the political, as well as the policy, conversation, politics with Israel-centric policies.” But when not pushing a hard-line on U.S.-Israel policy within the Democratic party, Block partners with Lanny Davis — who represented business interests backing the 2009 coup in Honduras — in a joint lobbying practice.

Block’s firm has proven itself as one of the go-to lobby shops in Washington for human rights abusers such as Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo and the the new Honduran government.

Block’s firm’s willingness to represent unpopular interests in Washington, for the right price, is further exemplified by their status as registered lobbyists for Agility DGS, a company suspended from government contracts after it was accused of defrauding the U.S. government as a contractor in Iraq.

Block’s business acumen and pursuit of the next payday raises the question of whose account Block was working on when he compiled the opposition research document on CAP and Media Matters bloggers.